Utilizing Collaboration & Technology to Resolve Complex Issues

Vermeer is a global manufacturer of industrial and agricultural equipment located in Pella, Iowa. After two plants were lost in a tornado in 2018, Mortenson was engaged to rebuild new 525,000 square foot facility. The new space expands production capacity with increased efficiencies and product flow, inclusive of ten value stream manufacturing and assembly stations, state-of-the-art weld fume mitigation mechanical system, and a best-in-class paint booth system.

To coordinate the equipment installation for each individual system in the 130,000 square foot paint area, Mortenson led a collaborative team effort between Vermeer, Belco (installing the paint booth systems illustrated below in orange), Blast Cleaning Technologies (installing the blaster cleaning systems illustrated in green), and Engineering Conveyors Inc. (installing the conveyor system running throughout the plant illustrated in green).

CHALLENGE: Designing in a Silo

At the start of the project, each individual system team was designing the space for their equipment and creating their installation schedule in silos. Once the individual plans started coming together, significant spacing and schedule issues were realized. Their equipment panels were interfering with each other and systems were running into columns and walls. Additionally, their installation schedules were not coordinated and did not account for key items that needed to be installed sequentially. 

SOLUTION: Integrating the Team

To resolve these coordination issues, Mortenson created an all-inclusive 3D model of the space, pulling-in information for each of the value stream systems. Once everything was in one place, over 100 critical installation clashes were identified. The team held bi-weekly meetings, tackling each individual problem and creating an integrated schedule to install each piece of equipment. This collaborative process improved:

  • Issue resolution by identifying and solving problems prior to anyone stepping on site.
  • Communication by allowing the team to visualize the spaces before they were built and understand construction sequencing.
  • Quality management by reducing re-work and ensuring quality the first time.

RESULT: Resolution of Space and Flow Issues

Integrating the team and leveraging the 3D model resulted in the resolution of space issues, improved the equipment installation process, and helped manage the schedule ensuring on-time delivery of the fully functional paint assembly system. It also allowed Vermeer stakeholders to visualize key spaces before they were built and make necessary adjustments regarding function and layout. Yet another benefit is its use in employee recruiting, retention, and training—providing a line of sight into the entire manufacturing process.

“Mortenson leadership and project management was instrumental in executing an aggressive schedule to get the new paint system installed and operational in time to meet our production needs,” said Vince Newendorp, Vice President & CAO at Vermeer. “Managing over ten sub-contractors, working in the same space at the same time was not an easy request, yet Mortenson’s leadership and organizational discipline once again proved why they are exceptional at what they do every day on the job site. And most importantly, the work was executed safely and without incident.”


Check out the manufacturing process at the New Plant 7 facility via our 3D model.